Zero Moment of Truth

  In Week 7, we watched and discussed McDonald’s Canada’s “Our Food Your Questions” program. Prof @qkyujinshim taught us about how messages should be self-serving, transparent radically and be real-time relevant. This reminded me of a similar campaign done by McDonald’s Singapore through brand journalism in making their fast food hipster/restaurant worthy.

This video taps on the zero moment of truth as many viewers have already eaten McDonald’s multiple times and the imaginative possibility of constructing their own or following the ‘hacks’ would impact their decision making process when they are choosing between fast food or are looking for an enjoyable experience.

Here’s a similar campaign to the one by McDonald’s Canada, done in Singapore:

IKEA: Traditional Ad. vs. Online Content

In class, we watched an IKEA ad to show the differences between traditional media and digital media. I felt that it was interesting and inspiring for IKEA to make their “makeover ideas” video with elements of traditional media seen in how it builds the brand image.

IKEA subtly communicates that it is a progressive company through treating the gay and african-american couple as any other family unit and couple. This will be received well by customers who are sensitive to such social issues and build more brand affinity as they will see IKEA as a representative of their beliefs and values. 

Does your perception of Tinder influence others?

Hi friends!

I am writing this blog post to summarise our group’s project. We are doing an academic research, and the research question we are curious to study is how one’s perception of Tinder influences others.

Our research is inspired by our curiosity regarding the fall from grace of Tinder – how it used to be the onling dating app, to it now being often seen as a “hookup app”. In our knowledge, bad news certainly does spread fast, and social media plays a huge role in it.

Having said that, we would like to examine three hypotheses:

  1. Tinder has negative reputation among local university students.
  2. Tinder-users from local universities are influenced by other local university students’ perception of Tinder.
  3. Local university students prefer other dating applications compared to Tinder.

Hypotheses #1 and #2 are designed to answer the research question on how one’s perception of Tinder influences others, while Hypothesis #3 serves as a check on whether our conclusions derived are true.

Based on surveys conducted, we learnt that Tinder is negatively perceived amongst local university students, being associated as a ‘hookup app’. Additionally, from our survey results and focus group interviews, we also found that local university students are particularly concerned about their peer’s perception of Tinder. Further, such concerns have led to a decreased confidence, and use of Tinder amongst local university students. Finally, our research also discusses the limitations of our findings and potential areas for future research.




After having read the ROI article, I have the following insights to share.


  • Brand awareness


Traditionally, tracking studies and surveys are ways to track brand awareness. However, there are different ways to track brand awareness online.

In social media, a company gains increased exposure if placed in highly relevant contexts, every time a person uses an application designed by the company or about the company.

An example quoted is that of Starbucks when they ran an ad promoting a free coffee giveaway on the “Saturday Night Live” show as well as on YouTube just days before Election Day 2008. This caused a huge increase in brand exposure due to the vast number of Twitter mentions of Starbucks. If placed properly, increased exposures cause customers’ minds to enhance and strengthen associations of the brand.  


  • Brand engagement
  • Word of mouth


what’s the need for this approach?

Employing this supposedly “radical” approach makes the task of creating integrated marketing campaigns less daunting and more closely tied to online consumer behavior. Starting with consumer motivations i.e. consumer investments helps dismiss the assumption that applications are disparate when in actuality they are quite similar if the underlying motivations for use are the same.

Hence, the objectives to be achieved and the tools with their associated metrics need to be correctly identified  in order to achieve them.

  1. Raging Cow: In 2003, the company sparked outrage over its campaign in which the company bribed a group of teenagers and some youngsters to post favorable reviews and spread positive word-of-mouth news about its new flavored milk drink. They did not disclose that they had bribed these bloggers and their blogs seemingly appeared impartial and unaffiliated with the company or the drink, apart from a few obviously obligatory links to the Raging Cow site. This caused a group of suspicious bloggers to investigate further and thus uncovered that the company was indeed behind these veiled references due to the bribes of gift certificates, product samples, T-shirts, etc.

Thus, the marketing campaign found itself under fire and the product was subsequently boycotted ultimately resulting in the disappearance of the product from the market.


What is to be noted from the above case studies is that zero activity or response is not the worst course of action from social media campaigning. If not handled properly, they can negatively impact brand name for years to come as social media experiments that go embarrassingly wrong can still live on as the brand’s legacy and is just a “search” button away even if well covered up, in this age of technology.

What the above listed companies’ managers did not take into careful consideration was that “rules of engagement” and dynamics of interaction in the social media world are quite different from that of traditional marketing.


Brand Journalism – yay or nay?

I came across this online article which is relevant to our class discussion on 14 March.

… we have no interest in working with content creators. Journalism is a calling and people are putting trust in you to study something and make a judgement. But if it’s someone who is getting money from a company to write five articles saying how awesome something is. Will anyone read that? No of course not. 

I think that brand journalism will continue to be a communications strategy in the near future. The rise of fake news and proliferation of sites such as States Times Review show that more often than not, people do not question the credibility and reliability of the author. In Singapore, even when branded content on popular sites such as Seth Lui and The Smart Local include a disclaimer at the end of the article that it is a partnership / transaction with the featured client, online users continue to share the article as the uniqueness of the overall story matters more than whether it is exaggerated than what it actually is.


Snapchat & Kylie Jenner

Hi! I would just like to share an article I came across recently.

When was the last time you used Snapchat? For me, I have never been much of a netizen and did not even bother owning a Snapchat account. So it comes as no surprise that Snapchat is witnessing a decline in its active users as seen in the article here:

Snapchat’s Value Drops $1.3 Billion After 1 Kylie Jenner Tweet

The main reason why Snapchat is losing its popularity could be attributed to the redesign of its interface, which destroyed the familiarity people had for the app. Perhaps Snapchat wanted a new approach as Instagram had discreetly replaced the former with its Insta Stories, but the stark difference in Snapchat’s redesign did not sit well with its audience. The lesson to be learnt here would be that although social media is constantly changing and improving, social media platforms should still adapt to the needs and wants of their consumers instead of blindly chasing the goal of creating something different.

Furthermore, we can also observe how influencers on social media (Kylie Jenner in this case) have such a colossal impact on social media platforms as just one tweet could cause Snapchat’s value to drop by $1.3 billion. The power influencers have on social media platforms is not to be belittled, and hence it is essential to find out how to engage influencers in order to have them work in your favour.

That’s all I have to share for now! (:

P.S If you did not already know, you may check out the most liked photo on Instagram (also by Kylie Jenner) here:

Impact of Social Media on Wall Street

Recently, reality TV personality Kylie Jenner posted a casual opinion of how she has started fancying Snapchat (a multimedia social messaging app) slightly lesser off late. Little did she know that it would cause shake the ‘Snap’ stock price by a massive 6% and cause losses worth $1.3 billion for investors. This example goes on to prove how much social  media – and it’s protagonist celebrities – can influence a brand’s goodwill and popularity. Any news spreads like wildfire and is spared by no users opinion and comment. Bad publicity on social media can prove to magnify the problem exponentially. Thus, companies must be aware of the dangers bad social media publicity can have towards it brand as well as disaster recovery tools to mitigate the problems when they occur.

Article link:

Social Analytic Provider Exmart CEO visits COMM346

Big data analytic company Exmart collaborates with COMM346.


On January 31 and February 1, Exmart Founder and CEO Kazuhiro Gokyu visited and spent time with COMM 346.



CEO Gokyu presented Exmart’s fascinating ten-year history of specialized data solutions, including data extraction, transformation and utilization, and social listening strategies. He described how such tools are utilized for major global clients such as Daikin. After watching a Channel News Asia documentary video on digital fundraising – featuring CEO Gokyu – the COMM 346 group and its valuable guests participated in a workshop session about data extraction and R analytics.

In addition, Exmart’s Shane Low, in charge of both project management and strategic sales, offered a brief introduction of Exmart applications, demos and work assignments. He described how over the previous few months, Exmart had worked with researchers from NTU, NUS and SMU, seeking “to automate much of the data work which is manual and tedious so that researchers can focus on generating key insights and drawing novel inferences.” Shane further explained how important this is to collaboration with clients, and of course, to retaining them.

COMM346 G2’s Josh HO Xian Zheng was one of many who commented that they found the session interesting and that it furthered their “learning about the workings behind social analysis.”

Exmart sees candidates for its internship programs, which benefit students via generous stipends and learning opportunities on various social analytic toolkits. For further details please email Shane Low,




Ever since the advent of social media, various agencies have used the platform to manipulate the stock market. By spreading false, exaggerated and unfounded news, investors have been seen to get influenced and wrongly take buy/sell decisions. Since social media is so popular and prevalent nowadays, any news – whether true or not – is sensationalized and spreads within seconds. Hence, it is crucial to consider the source and credibility of news we read, before taking investing decisions.